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Sounds | Eileen Torrez - Stars

Terwijl ik me toch koester in het zalvende geluid van warme vrouwenstemmen: maak kennis met deze singer-songwriter uit Oakland (California) met roots in Corrales (New Mexico). Opnieuw folk, maar ditmaal in een meer soulvol popkleedje. Vergelijk even deze song met haar eerste single en besef dat de dame niet in een hokje geduwd kan worden. Ik ben héél erg benieuwd of er in de andere nummers een scheut americana te bespeuren valt, kwestie van geboeid te blijven.

Water and Salt verschijnt ergens deze zomer.

Luister ook naar: The Kind


The romantic and evocative single, Stars, lends Eileen’s smooth, impressionistic fingerpicking to a celestial snapshot of new love. The song was inspired by neo-soul artists like Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton, whose sensibility often includes timeless, decorative chords supporting elaborate R&B vocal runs. Tracing across the seasons of heartbreak and re-awakening, “Stars” evokes the weightlessness of a relationship built on trust. Redemption shines through, as Eileen’s words exhibit a refreshing open-hearted boldness: Touch me and you show / What life really has in store / You returned my faith to me, my faith to me / And I never will wonder why again / I am complete.

“This song captures that core feeling of finding someone who heals you, who seems to cure all the ills in your life,” Eileen says. She continues: “In the process of building trust again with someone new, I started to think about this song as sort of the benchmark or foundation for new love. It’s so pure and clear; someone really should make you feel all of the ways written in the song.”

Singer-songwriter Eileen Torrez’s latest album, Water + Salt, is a coming-of-age statement wrought with elegant detail and spirited cross-genre exploration. The 12-song album brims with poetic self-reflection and incisive Trump-era social commentary, charting a path for the listener beyond days of despair into an encouraging future. It manages the rare feat of being highly introspective and broadly resonant.

“This album is about trying to find myself while grappling with all the darkness in the world,” the Oakland-based artist says. “There is a lot of love and elevation at the core of every song. I’m a hopeful person who faces challenges head on, and this time in my life was about me stepping into that ability.”

Eileen was born and raised in Corrales, New Mexico (a small town outside Albuquerque), in a music-filled Latino household with five brothers and sisters. She studied classical guitar from the age of 11 until high school, and sang in her middle school mariachi band. Classical guitar’s complex fingerpicking patterns and nuanced chord shapes have made indelible impacts on her signature sensibility.

She describes her aesthetic as “Folk n’ b,” a melding of subtly dexterous Americana musicianship and slinky R&B swagger. Sprinkles of country, early aughts pop, and 1990s alt-rock also season her songs. Eileen’s vocals have an angelic tonality with a touch of twang that combine to infuse her work with biting observations and raw-nerved emotionality. Her lyrics employ clever metaphors, poetic turns of phrases, and twists on the biblical imagery that flooded her Catholic childhood.

“I have a certain reverence toward writing pop music. I want the love songs to be especially descriptive, and I want the angry songs to cut to the bone,” she says. “I'm a feminist writer and performer, and I center my work on intersectional feminist themes, but I pride myself in having my music speak to all parts of life in inspiring ways. I want everyone to be able to find themselves in it.”

Eileen wrote all of the songs, performed all of the vocals, and played most of the guitar tracks on Water + Salt. She co-produced the album alongside producer, engineer, and mixer George Rosenthal of The Complex SF. Featured Bay Area instrumentalists include keyboardist Elliott Peltzman of The Stone Foxes on the song “Summer,” pedal steel player Travis Snyder of Catch Pritchard on the track “I Don’t Care,” and pop artist Nikbo on keys for the song “Stars.” In addition, Jae Quisol, an up-and-coming North Carolina-based songwriter and producer, helped Eileen arrange the song, “The Kind.” Previously, Eileen issued her 2016 solo debut, Honey + Zest.


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